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RFQ - Attorney Representation for Indigent Clients Committed NGRI Under Ch. 10.77 RCW


We are an independent judicial branch agency mandated to implement the constitutional and statutory guarantees of counsel and to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of indigent defense services funded by the state.

Mission: Upholding the rights of all people who are facing the loss of liberty or family by providing statewide leadership, administration, and support to the multidisciplinary public defense profession.

Vision: Public defense clients, everywhere in the state, receive truly equitable and client-centered representation from fully supported professionals.

Values: Justice  *   Service   *   Equity    *  Excellence  

We administer a variety of programs, including systemic improvement programs and programs providing direct representation. To learn about OPD’s programs click here. We are dedicated to excellence in public law and indigent defense, and we seek talented candidates who share this commitment to client-centered service. We value employees who bring diverse backgrounds in education, employment, community activities, and life experiences to enhance our office.

Program Description
The Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD) Forensic Civil Commitment Program currently provides state funded attorney representation to indigent clients with a right to counsel at State expense after being civilly committed pursuant to a finding of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, under Ch. 10.77 RCW.

OPD seeks to fill the equivalent of contract attorney positions. The contract will be for up to 100% of a full-time caseload.

Annual compensation for a full-time caseload is $187,392.00. Based on a vendor rate increase funded by the legislature, the compensation will be increasing, but the final rates are not yet available. Part-time contracts are pro-rated based on the percentage of a full-time caseload. Contractors are responsible for all overhead such as support staff, rent, and other costs of doing business. If interested, follow the application procedures below.


A qualified applicant must:

  • Be a licensed member of good standing with the Washington State Bar
  • Demonstrate a commitment to indigent defense.
  • Completed two to three felony jury trials.
  • Experience working with and using experts.
  • Willingness to learn and use civil and local court rules in Washington State.
  • Be responsive to and communicate clearly with clients living with disabilities, and/or mental health issues, and those with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
  • Occasional travel to Eastern or Western State Hospitals.
  • Possess experience or interest in how race, gender, national origin, disability, and class intersect to create disparities for individuals experiencing state intervention in their lives, and a willingness to challenge the State on issues of bias and prejudice.



OPD will prefer applicants who:

  • Demonstrated high quality legal defense representation in civil commitment cases pursuant to Chapter 10.77, 71.05, or 71.09.
  • Completed two to three Class A felony jury trials.
  • Willingness to accept a full-time caseload, either per attorney or shared by a group practice or agency.
  • Willingness to accept case appointments in multiple counties.


Application Procedure
Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled. To apply, email a letter of interest identifying your qualifications, and a resume, and a legal writing sample. Letters of interest should describe the applicant’s current contracts for public defense or other representation as well as existing caseload, specifying the number and type of cases currently carried, if any.

Email Materials to:
Lindsey Townsend at

Please address any questions to:
Shoshana Kehoe-Ehlers at

OPD reserves the right to amend this Request for Qualifications and reserves the right to refrain from contracting with any and all applicants. This Request for Qualifications does not obligate the state of Washington or OPD to contract for the services specified here.

The Washington State Office of Public Defense vigorously pursues diversity in the work force. Women, LGBTQ+, racial and ethnic minorities, persons over 40 years of age, persons with a disability, and disabled and military veterans are encouraged to apply.

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